Russian options in a world headed for war

November 18, 2021

Russian options in a world headed for war

The world is headed for war and has been headed that way for quite a while now.  Several times, just at the brink, the West decided to pull back, but each time it did that its ruling elites felt two things: first, the felt even more hatred for Russia for forcing them to back down and, second, they interpreted the fact that no shooting war happened (yet) as the evidence, at least in their minds, that standing on the brink of war is a pretty safe exercise.  And yet, a major shooting war is quite possible in any of the following locations, or even in several simultaneously: (in no specific order)

  1. US-China war over Taiwan
  2. AngloZionist attack on Iran
  3. A war involving the 3B+PU against Belarus
  4. A war between the Ukraine and the LDNR+Russia
  5. A NATO-Russian war in the Black Sea region
  6. A resumption of a war between Armenia and Azerbaijan

As we can see, all of these potential wars could potentially involve Russia, either directly (3,4,5) or indirectly (1,2,6).

Today, I want to look at Russian options in the direct involvement cluster of wars 3, 4 and 5.

The first thing which I think is important to note here is that while the Ukraine has no prospects of becoming a NATO member country, some NATO member states have already taken the following steps to turn the Ukraine into a de facto NATO protectorate:

  1. Full and unconditional political support for the Nazi regime in Kiev and any of its actions
  2. Minimal economic support, just enough to keep the Nazis in power
  3. Minimal delivery of weapons for the Ukronazi forces
  4. Deployment of small NATO contingents inside the Ukraine
  5. Lot’s of Kabuki theater about “we will stand with you forever and no matter what

I have already discussed the 5th point here, so I won’t repeat it all here.  The important point in the list above in #4, the deployment of a small force of UK, Swedish, French, US and other NATO units into the Ukraine.  Such small forward deployed forces are referred to “tripwire forces” whose mission is to heroically die thereby triggering an automatic (at least in theory) involvement of their country of origin into the war.

Before going any further, I think I want to share with you a list of axiomatic facts:

  1. Russia cannot be defeated militarily by any combination of forces.  For the first time in centuries, Russia is not playing “catching up” with her western foes, but is actually ahead with both her conventional and her nuclear forces.  The Russian advantage is especially striking in her conventional strategic deterrence capabilities.
  2. The West, whose leaders are quite aware of this fact, does not want an open shooting war with Russia.
  3. The 3B+PU block wants a war at all costs, both for internal and for external political reasons.
  4. In a war against the Ukraine, Russia will have several counter-strike options in which she would not need to drive even a single tank across the border

The first three are rather uncontroversial, so let’s look at the 4th point a little closer.  Let’s begin by looking at Russian counter-attack options against the Ukraine.  Roughly summarized, here are what I see as the main possible options for a Russian counter-attack against the Ukraine:

  1. Protecting the LDNR in its current borders (line of contact) by a combination of a no-fly zone, missile strikes against Ukie C3I, the use of EW to disorganize the Ukie forces and very targeted strikes (from inside Russia) against key HQs, ammo/POL dumps, etc.
  2. Giving cover to the LDNR forces to fully liberate the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.
  3. Giving cover to the LDNR forces to fully liberate the Donetsk and Lugansk regions and the creation of a land corridor towards the Mariupol-Berdiansk-Crimea area.
  4. Giving cover to the LDNR forces to fully liberate the Donetsk and Lugansk regions and the creation of a land corridor in the Mariupol-Berdiansk-Crimea area and then the liberation of the Ukainian coast along the Kherson-Nikolaev-Odessa axis.
  5. The liberation of all the lands east left bank of the Dniepr river (including the cities of Kharkov, Poltava, Dniepropetrovsk, Zaporozhie and others).
  6. The liberation of the entire Ukraine

In purely military terms, these are all doable options.  But looking at this issue from a purely military point of view is highly misleading.  But first, about the NATO tripwire force.

US/NATO commanders are not too bright, but they are smart enough to understand that in case of a Russian counter attack these forces would be wiped out, thereby potentially involving all of NATO in what could potentially be a huge, continental war.  That is not what they want.

So the real purpose of this tripwire forces would be to create a powerful enough anti-Russian hysteria to transform the (currently disorganized and deeply dysfunctional) West into a single, united, anti-Russian block.  In other words, this tripwire force presents a political challenge to the Kremlin, not a military one.  This being said, we need to look a a number of absolutely crucial non-military factors.

  1. Whatever territory Russia liberates from the Nazi forces she will have to rebuilt economically, protect militarily and reorganize politically.  The more territory Russia liberates, the most acute these pressures will become.
  2. It has been 30 years already since the Ukraine set a course on becoming an anti-Russia, and there is now an entire generation of thoroughly brainwashed Ukrainians who really believe in what the Ukronazi media and “democracy” or “civil society” promoting propaganda outlets have been telling them.  The fact that many of them speak better Russian than Ukrainian does not change fact that in the least.  While the Ukies cannot stop the Russian military, they sure can organize and sustain an anti-Russian insurgency which Russia would have to suppress.
  3. Economically, the Ukraine is a black hole: you can throw whatever you want at it, in any amounts, and everything will simply disappear.  The notion of “economic aid to the Ukraine” is simply laughable.
  4. The Ukraine is an artificial entity which never was, and ever will be, viable, at least not in her current borders.

For these reasons I submit that it would be extremely dangerous for Russia to bite-off more than she can chew.  As the best (by far) political analyst of the Ukraine, Rostislav Ishchenko, said in an interview last week: “Putin cannot save the Ukraine, but he sure can ruin Russia [if he tries]” – and I totally concur with him.

Whatever legal pretense can be wrapped around a Russian liberation of the Ukraine, the reality is that whatever land Russia does liberate, she will then own and have to administer.

Why would Russia want to reimpose law and order inside a black hole?

Then there is this: while historically Ukrainian are nothing but “Russians under Polish occupation”, the past 30 years have created a new, very different nation.  In fact, I submit that we have witnessed a true ethnogenesis, the birth of a new nation whose very identity is russophobic at its core.  Yes, they speak Russian better than Ukrainian, but speaking the language of your enemy did not prevent the IRA, ETA or the Ustashe from hating that enemy and fighting him for decades.  In many ways, the modern Ukrainians are not only are non-Russians, they are anti-Russians par excellence: I think of them as Poles, with vyshivankas instead of feathers.

Crimea was solidly pro-Russian in all its history.  The Donbass was initially rather happy to form part of the Ukraine, even in the early post-Maidan period when protests were organized under Ukrainian flags.  Those flags were later traded for LDNR/Russian flags, but only after Kiev launched a military operation against the Donbass.  And the further you go west, the clearer this distinction is.  As one LDNR commander once put it, “the further west we go, the less we are seen as liberators and the more we are seeing as occupiers“.

The crucial point here is this: it does not matter what you, or I, or anybody else thinks about the constituent parts of the new Ukie national identity, we can laugh about it all we want, but as long as they take it seriously, and enough of them do, then this is a reality we cannot simply overlook or wish away.

The other point which is often overlooked is this: the Ukronazi Banderastan has already mostly collapsed.  Yes, in central Kiev things look more or less normal, but all the reports from the rest of the country point to the same reality: the Ukraine is already a failed state, totally de-industrialized, where chaos, poverty, crime and corruption are total.  The same is becoming true even for Kiev suburbs.

When I observe at how slow the Russian efforts to reorganize (really, fix) Crimea are, by no fault of the Russians, by the way, I recoil in horror at the thought of what it would take for Russia to re-civilize and re-develop ANY liberated part of the Ukraine.

Russia is typically compared to a bear, and that is a very good metaphor on many levels.  But in the case of the Ukraine, I see Russia like a snake and the Ukraine like a hog: the snake can easily kill that hog (by venom or by constriction), but that snake cannot absorb that dead hog, it is just too big for it.

But here is the single most important fact about this entire situation: the Ukie Banderastan is dying, most of its body is already necrotic, so there is absolutely no need for the Russian snake to do anything about it at all (other than retreating into a corner ready to strike, in a coiled position, and loudly hiss: “attack me and you are dead!“.  Putin already said that much.

Still, what if?  What if the Nazis, egged on by their “democratic” patrons, do launch an attack?  At that point Russia will have no other option but to strike, using her standoff weapons (missiles, artillery, long range cruise missiles, etc.).  Since we can safely assume that the Russians have been rehearsing exactly such a counter-strike we can expect it to be swift and devastating.  Targets list will include: advancing Ukie forces, airbases and any aircraft (manned or not) taking off, any Ukie boat approaching the area of operations, communication nodes, supply dumps, roads, bridges, fortified positions, etc.  That is a lot of targets to be hit at once, but hitting them at once is also the safest and most effective method to quickly achieve the immediate goal of stopping any possible Ukie advance on the LDNR.  This initial phase would last under 24 hours.

[Sidebar: modern warfare is not WWII, you won’t see thousands of tanks and a clear frontline but, rather, you will see strikes throughout the strategic depth of the enemy side, intense maneuver by fire and the use of battalion tactical groups]

Should that happen, it is likely that NATO forces would move into the western Ukraine, not to “protect” it from a Russian attack which will never come, but to break off as much of the Ukraine as possible and take it under control.  The pretext for such a NATO move would be the destruction (partial or full) of the tripwire force.  NATO might also declare its own no-fly zone over the western Ukraine, which the Russians will have no need to challenge.  Finally, the West will happily unite against Russia, and sever all economic, diplomatic and other ties to “isolate and punish Russia”.  Let’s not kid ourselves, this would hurt the Russian economy, but not in a manner sufficient to break the Russian will.

Then will come the big question: how far should Russia go?

I am confident that this has already been decided, and I am equally confident that Russia will not follow the options 4, 5 and 6 above.  Option 1 is a given, we can take that to the bank (unless the LDNR forces alone are enough to stop a Ukie attack).  Which leaves options 2 and 3 as “possibles”.

So here I want to suggest another option, what I would call the “southern route”: while the line of contact between the LDNR and Banderastan can be pushed somewhat further west, I do not think that Russian forces shuold liberate any of major cities in the central Ukraine (Kharkov, Poltava, Dneipropetrivsk, Zaporozhie, ).  Instead, I think that they ought to envelop these forces by a move along the coast as far as all of Crimea (up to Perekop) and maybe even up to, but not into, the city of Kherson.  Of course, in order to achieve this, it would be necessary to bring a large enough force into the Voronezh-Kursk-Belgorod triangle to force the Ukrainians to allocate forces to their northeast.  The Russian Black Sea Fleet could also conduct operations all along the Ukrainian coast, including near Nikolaev-Odessa to force the Ukies to allocate forces to coastal defenses, thereby easing the load on the Russian forces moving towards Kherson.

[Sidebar: let’s be clear here, the LDNR forces along cannot conduct such a deep operation without risking envelopment and destruction.  That operation can only be executed at a relatively low cost by the Russian armed forces, including the Black Sea Fleet]

In such a scenario, Belarus could turn into a “silent threat from the north” which would further forces the Ukies to allocate forces to their northern borders, making the latter feel like they are being enveloped in strategic pincers.

What about Odessa?

Odessa is a unique city in many ways, and is population is generally pro-Russian.  It is also a city which would have a tremendous economic potential if managed by sane people.  However, Odessa is also a symbolic city for the Nazis, and they have placed a great deal of effort into controlling it.  Thus, Odessa is one of the few cities in the Nazi occupied Ukraine which could rise up against their occupier, especially while the Russian forces move along the coast towards it.  Here is where Russia could, and should, get involved, but not by taking the city WWII style, but by backing and supporting pro-Russian organizations in Odessa (primarily by using her special forces and, when needed, the firepower of the Black Sea Fleet).

What would the outcome of such a war look like?

One the down side, the West would unite in its traditional hatred for Russia, and economically Russia would hurt.  That is not irrelevant but, I submit, this scenario is already in the making and even if Russia does absolutely nothing.  Hence, this inevitable reality ought to be accepted by Russia as a condition sine qua non for her survival as a sovereign nation.

In military terms, the Poles and their Anglo masters would probably “protectively liberate” the western Ukraine (Lvov, Ivano-Frankovsk).  So what?  Let them!  There is no penalty for Russia from this.  Besides, the hardcore Ukronazis will then have to deal with their former Polish masters now fully back in control – let them fully “enjoy” each other 🙂

What about the rump Banderastan (we are talking about the central Ukraine here)?? It would end up being in even a worse shape than it is today, but Russia would not have to pay the bills for this mess.  Sooner or later, an insurrection or civil war would take place, which would pit one brand of Ukies against another, and should either one of them turn towards Russia or the liberated parts of the Ukraine, Russia could simply use her standoff weapons to quickly discourage any such attempts.

So how close are we to war?

Short answer: very.  Just listen to this recent press conference by Lavrov.  And its not only Lavrov, a lot of savvy political commentators and analysts in Russia are basically saying that the issue is not “if” but “when” and, therefore, “how”.  I think that the straw that broke the Russia’s patience’s camel back is the suicidal way in which the real (historical) Europeans have allowed the 3B+PU to set the agenda for the UE and NATO.  Oh sure, if NS2 goes ahead, as it still probably will, the Russians will be happy to sell energy to Europe.  But in terms of agency, the only power Russia is willing to talk to is the United States, as witnessed by the recent visits of Nuland and Burns to Moscow.  Let’s make one thing very very clear here:

Russia does not want war.  In fact, Russia will do everything in her power to avoid a war.  If a war cannot be avoided, Russia will delay the onset of that war as far into the future as possible.  And if that means talking to folks like Nuland or Burns, then that is something the Russians will gladly do.  And they are absolutely right in that stance (not talking to the enemy is a western mental disorder, not a Russian one).

As I have been saying for almost 2 years now, the Empire is already dead.  The USA as we knew them died on January 6th.  But the post Jan 6th USA still exists and, unlike the Europeans, the US ruling classes still have agency.  Just look at clowns like Stoltenberg, Borrell, Morawiecki or Maas: these are all petty bureaucrats, office plankton of you wish, which might have the skills to run a car rental agency, maybe a motel, but not real leaders that anybody in the Kremlin will take seriously.  You can hate Nuland or Burns all you want, but these are serious, dangerous folks, and that is why Russia is willing talk to them, especially when the request for such negotiations have been made by the US side (the Russians can’t really talk to clowns like Biden or Austin, which are just PR figures).

One thing needs mentioning here: the people of the rump-Banderastan and what will happen to them.

Actually, I think that the Ukraine is totally and terminally unsalvageable and the only good plan for anybody still living there is to do what millions of Ukrainians have already done: pack and leave.  Since most of the unskilled Ukrainian labor force lived in the western regions of the Ukraine, they will naturally prefer moving to the EU to work as cabbies, plumbers, maids and prostitutes.  Likewise, since most of the skilled Ukrainian work force comes from the southern and the eastern Ukraine, they will either be content with being liberated by Russia or they will move to Russia to work as engineers, medical doctors, IT specialists or even construction workers.  Russia has a need for such culturally close and qualified work force and getting jobs (and passports) for them will be a no brainer for the Kremlin.  True, what will be left of this post-Banderastan Ukraine won’t be a pretty sight: a poor, corrupt, country whose people will struggle to survive with lots of silly political ideas floated around.  But that won’t be Russia’s problem anyway while the main threat to Russia, a united Banderastan becoming a NATO training polygon right across the Russian border, will simply evaporate, dying on its own toxic emissions.  And if more Ukrainians want to move to Russia (or the free Ukraine), then the LDNR and Russian authorities will be able to decide on a case by case “do we wants these folks here or not?“.  Those Ukrainians who have remain real Ukrainians will be welcome in Russia while the Ukronazis will be denied entry and arrested if they still try.

Addendum: the two powers with imperial phantom pains and dreams of war

I am, of course, talking about the UK and Poland, two minor actors who compensate for their very limited actual abilities with a never-ending flow of vociferous declarations.  Mostly, they are just “playing empire”.  Both of these countries know exactly that they once were real empires and why they are pretty irrelevant today – they blame much of their own decay on Russia and hence their dream is to see Russia, if not defeated, then at least given a bloody nose.  And, of course, standing on the shoulders of the USA, both of these countries think of themselves as giants: they sure act the part very great gravitas and pomp.

Finally, their leadership is degenerate enough (inferiority complex compensated by a narcissism run amok) to lack even the basic common sense of wondering whether poking the Russia bear is a good idea or not.  More than any other NATO members, these yapping countries need a good smackdown to bring them back to reality.  Whether this smackdown will come in the form of some incident in the Ukraine or whether that will happen elsewhere is impossible to predict, but one thing is sure: the UK and Poland are (yet again!) the two countries which want, I would even say, need, a war with Russia more than anybody else (example one, example two).  I find it therefore rather likely that, sooner or later, Russia will have to either sink a UK/Polish ship or shoot down a/several UK/Polish aircraft which will show to the world, including the Brits and the Poles, that neither the US, nor NATO nor anybody else is seriously going to go to war with Russia over the Empire’s underlings.  Yes, there will be tensions, possibly even local clashes, and tons and tons of threatening verbiage, but nobody wants to die for these two hyenas of Europe (Churchill forgot to mention one), and nobody ever will.

Conclusion: war on the horizon

Right now, we are already deep inside a pre-war period and, like a person skating on thin ice, we wonder if the ice will break and, if it does, where that will happen.  Simply put, the Russians have two options:

  • A verbal push back
  • A physical push back

They have been trying the former as best they can to do the first for at least 7 years if not more.  Putin did trade space for time, and that was the correct decision considering the state of the Russian armed forces before, roughly, 2018.  Trump’s election was also God-sent for Russia because while Orange Man did threaten the planet left and right, he did not start a full-scale war against Russia (or, for that matter, Iran, China, Cuba, Iran and the DPRK).  By late 2021, however, Russia has retreated as far as she could.  The good news now is that Russia has the most modern and capable military on the planet, while the West is very busy committing political, cultural and economic suicide.

According to US analysts, by 2025 the USA won’t be able to win a war against China.  Frankly, I think that this ship has already sailed a long time ago, but that semi-admission is a desperate attempt to create the political climate to circle the wagons before China officially becomes the second nation the USA cannot defeat, the first one being, obviously, Russia (I would even include Iran and the DPRK is that list).  Hence all the current Anglo posturing in the Black Sea (which is even far more dangerous for US/NATO ships than the China Seas) is just that: posturing.  The main risk here is that I am not at all convinced by the notion that “Biden” can rein in the Brits or the Poles, especially since the latter are both NATO members who would sincerely expect NATO to protect them (they should ask Erdogan about that).  But, of course, there really is no such thing as “NATO”: all there is the US and its vassal states in Europe.  Should the two wannabe empires trigger a real, shooting war, all it would take is a single Russian conventional missile strike somewhere deep inside the continental USA (even in a desert location) to convince the White House, the Pentagon or the CIA “get with the program” and seek a negotiated solution, leaving the Brits and the Poles utterly disgusted and looking foolish.  I don’t think anything else can bring those two countries back to a sense of reality.

So yes, the war is coming, and the only thing which can prevent it would be some kind of deal between Russia and the USA.  Will that happen?  Alas, I don’t see any US President making such a deal, since however is in power is accused by the other party of “weakness”, “being a Russian asset” and all the rest of the flagwaving claptrap coming out of all the US politicians, especially in Congress.  One possibly mitigating factor is that the US politicians are also dead set on confrontation with China, including during the upcoming Olympic games, and if these tensions continue to escalate, then the US will want Russia to at least not represent a direct threat to US interests in Europe and the Pacific.  So maybe Putin and Xi can play this one together, making sure that with each passing day Uncle Shmuel gets even weaker while Russia and China get even stronger.  Maybe that strategy could avoid a war, at least a big one.  But when listen to the verbiage coming out of the UK+3B+PU, I have very little hope that the nutcases in Europe can be talked down from the edge of the precipice.

Andrei

What Is Really Happening In Lebanon?

23 OCTOBER 2021

By Sonja van den Ende

Source

What Is Really Happening In Lebanon?

Lebanese forces on the streets in Beirut, to control mainly the poor and Shia neighborhoods, many of these neighborhoods are suffering, they are the ones who don’t have electricity and lack food.

Lebanon is in a bad state for a long time already, the country is ripped apart through corruption, by mainly Western backed politicians, the influx from two million Syrian refugees, who are the poorest from poor and live in slums or ghettos, as I saw two years ago destroyed the country and already bad economy. It’s ripped apart by the US and Saudi influence who try to stir up the Lebanese and tell them the resistance group Hezbollah is very bad and also consider the Shia political AMAL movement bad because of their ideology. Well it depends how you see it, the Lebanese government has failed its own citizens since the end of the civil war in 1990, the West divided their politicial system and until today there is unrealistic segregation so finally the country totally collapsed when the Beirut explosion occurred. Hezbollah and the Amal were the only stronghold for the people, giving them free education and economic help, also the Christians speak well of them, they know that the Hezbollah and Amal parties are the ones who will help the needy and poor.

On 4 August 2020, a large amount of ammonium nitrate stored at the Port of Beiru tin the capital city of Lebanon exploded, causing at least 218 deaths, 7,000 injuries, and US$15 billion in property damage, and leaving an estimated 300,000 people homeless. A cargo of 2,750 tonnes of the substance (equivalent to around 1.1 kilotons of TNT) had been stored in a warehouse without proper safety”.

The question now is who was responsible for storing such a large amount in a densely populated area? Of course people blame the ones responsible of managing the port, but in the end the government of Lebanon is responsible and what was the involvement of the US and its Western allies? The current judge on the case and several Lebanese MP’s want to blame the last sitting prime-minister Hassan Diab, who was only in office since 2020 and was informed only four days before the accident by the port authorities, but governments before him, like premier Saad Hariri (son of the murdered Rafic Harriri) was in office for thirteen years and knew all too well about the deadly cargo in the port of Beirut. Actually many of the prime-ministers of Lebanon of the last 15 years knew through several warnings from the port authorities about the deadly cargo, they were warned by them, received complaints and letters, but never did anything to get rid of the dangerous cargo or attempted to do so.

According to the leaders of Hezbollah and the Amal Movement, but also the opinion of many Lebanese in the streets, according to my sources, the last incident and the murder of at least six people was an effort of destabilising Lebanon again, some elements like Samir Geagea, who served a long prison senctence and is now trying in cooperation with Western backed politicial parties and the deep-state a coup. Samir Gaegea, a Christian Maronite, is a notorious war criminal, responsible for the death of thousands of Palestinians and Lebanese during the civil war has re-emerged into the Lebanese spotlight, ready to kick off another civil war in his bid for power. We know all too well the West and the US are the masters of color-revolutions around the world, which usually ends up in war, upheaval and the the murder of millions of people, so this war criminal Samir Geagea tried another coup, after getting the back-up and support of the US, hardliner and warcriminal Victoria Nuland, who happened to visit Lebanon a few days before the attempted coup and spoke with members of the ultra-right-wing political party called the Lebanese Forces(LF) of which Samir Geagea is the leader.

This is what we have seen the last thrity years or maybe longer in in many countries around the world, the last attemted coup and which succeeded was in Ukraine, were Victoria Nuland tolled in a taped telephone call F***k the EU. The Lebanese experienced hardship since many years and certainly don’t want to experience a civil war anymore, they want prosperity and to overcome their religious differences, which never existed (like in Syria) before the West destroyed their societies and spreaded the poison of war and destruction, through their biggest asset, the Zionist state of Israel, not the Jewish people, but their government , military and deep-state, like in many Western countries, are the biggest repressor of the region, even surpressing its own people with a strict politized covid-regime. Before visiting Lebanon, Victoria Nuland visited Russia, most likely to speak with the so-called opposition around Navalny, always when Victoria is visiting, trouble will come. She is part of the illegal Biden government and serves as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, the fourth-ranking position in the US government.

Samir Geagea is a Zionist asset and also paid the Israelian notorious Secret Service Mossad and he and the Mossad were trying everything in their power to blame Hezbollah, as part of the until now, hybrid war, between Israel and Iran, according to Benyamin Nethanyahu, the last prime-minister of Israel, charged with corruption. Late in September 2020, all attention in Lebanon suddenly shifted to the warehouse, the one which exploded in Beirut, in the port in Jnah, where Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu alleged that Hezbollah was running a missile factory. In response, Secretary-General of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah invited reporters to tour the warehouse in Jnah and reporters were able to enter and had a tour. There was no no missile factory but in November 2020, various Lebanese news sites reported images and videos taken from that particular warehouse showing there was ammonium nitrate stored. Which was publicly known and of course the lebanese government was responsible for the storage of the highly dangerous ammonium nitrate which saw explosions which had similarities with a small atomic bomb.

The Lebanese people live in terrible conditions right now, similarities can be seen with the Syrian people, but even Syria supplied them with electricity, so bad is the situation. Recently petrol and gasoline has reached the port of Baniyas in Syria, from sanction stricken Iran to Lebanon. The West is still imposing sanctions on many countries in the Middle-East, another form of warfare.

Russians are in total awe at the suicidal stupidity of the West

October 14, 2021

The Russians are openly expressing their absolute amazement at the utter stupidity of the West. 

Three examples:

A recent article by Medvedev:

Dmitry Medvedev: Why contacts with the current Ukrainian leadership are meaningless

Dmitry Medvedev: Why contacts with the current Ukrainian leadership are meaningless

Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev addressed Kommersant with his new article, titled: Five short polemical theses Kindly note that this is a machine … Continue reading

Dmitry Medvedev: Why contacts with the current Ukrainian leadership are meaninglessThe Vineyard of the Saker

Putin’s speech at the recent energy forum in Russia:

Russian President Vladimir Putin: Speech at Russian Energy Week (REW) international forum

Russian President Vladimir Putin gives a speech at the plenary session of Russian Energy Week (REW) international forum Future of Russian fuel and energy industry, prospects for international cooperation and … Continue reading

Russian President Vladimir Putin: Speech at Russian Energy Week (REW) international forumThe Vineyard of the Saker

Shall I even bother to list what caused such reactions?

The self-imposed energy crisis in which the EU is BOTH trying to delay/stop NS2 while AT THE SAME TIME demanding that Russia increase her energy output?

As for the Ukrainiane, the Putin just offered them, again, not for $1500/cubic meters but for $175.  But this US vassal state proudly rejects any such offers.

The fact that Uncle Shmuel promised his “molecules of freedom” to the EU but is now selling these molecules to Asia (which has the means to pay much more). Yet the EU remains as subservient  to the USA as ever…

Or the fact that the entire, united, consolidated western media accuses Russia of creating the crisis while, in reality, not only did Russia fulfill all her contractual obligations but even INCREASED (by 10% if I remember correctly) her sales above her contractual obligations?  Putin repeated many times “tell us what you need, give us a contract to sign and we will deliver whatever you need!”

Then the there Victoria “fuck the EU” Nuland who, apparently, demanded that the Russian unilaterally lift Russian counter-sanctions while the US would not.

Here is how the western elites seem to be “thinking” (I am being generous here).

  1. We accuse Russia of everything and anything
  2. Then these Russian bastards have the nerve to demand evidence
  3. We accuse them some more
  4. And then these Russian bastards have the nerve to refer to facts
  5. Then we tell them that we will sanction them
  6. And then these Russian bastards have the nerve to counter-sanction us
  7. Then we engage in military exercises right along the Russian border
  8. And then these Russian bastards have the nerve to engage in military exercise also right along the Russian border
  9. Then, to try scare them to “negotiate from a position of strength” with our empty words about being invincible
  10. And then these Russian bastards design and deploy weapons systems we can only dream about
  11. Then we tell the Russian we want them to remain neutral while we deal with the “Chinese threat” (to whom?)
  12. And then these Russian bastards laugh their heads off

I will stop here, but I want to stress that Putin and plenty of Russian analysts are saying: the consolidated West is so totally out of touch with reality that it is, in essence, committing suicide.  Putin and others have also said the following many times already: “we don’t need to do anything, nothing, just watch how the West self-destructs“.

About the Ukraine: please read Medvedev’s article carefully.  Some say that it was not written by him, but by Putin.  The most likely explanation is that this text was prepared, vetted and approved by the Security Council of the Russian Federation (where Medvedev hold the position of Deputy Chairman) and that the reason why Medvedev signed it was diplomacy: he could be much more direct than President Putin, but you can be sure that this articles does express Putin’s point of view.

The Russians are now openly calling the Ukraine a vassal state of the USA and say that it makes no sense to talk to the Ukies, only to their masters, hence the visit of Nuland to Russia.

The Russians are not (yet?) officially openly calling the entire EU a vassal state of the USA, but they are strongly suggesting it.

So from the Russian’s point of view, only the USA retains at least some agency and is, therefore, worth talking to.

Yet the pre-2021 USA is dead and gone.

What’s left is a deeply dysfunctional society where the ruling elites seem to care only about gender fluidity and tranny rights, body positivity,  Woke ideology, “inclusive mathematics” and even a homosexual Superman (which ought to then be renamed “superperson” I suppose!).  Still, the Russians will still talk to this wannabe Wakanda entity, if only because the latter still has nukes (and quite a lot of momentum left, even dead) left, but they don’t feel ANY need to take it very seriously or do much about it.

As I have written many times before, Russia’s future in not in the West, but in the South (Central Asia, Middle-East), East (China) and North (Arctic).

As for the insane asylum called “Europe”, the Russians will let “general Winter” deal with them and try to bring them from “its multicultural lala land” and the worship of Greta Thunberg back to reality.

Hope dies last I suppose…

I will end with a personal anecdote.  While studying at the School of International Service (SIS) at the American University I had an absolutely fantastic teacher, a former Naval intel guy of Polish origin.  His lessons were absolutely superb, each time.  One day, we did something really interesting (and fun!): for half of the class we read letter of WWII German officers serving on the Eastern Front in the early phases of the invasion: they were full of the usual stuff about Russian subhumans getting their asses kicked by the “culture-carrying master race” (Kulturträger Herrenvolk).  In the second half of the class, we also read letter written by German officers, but after Stalingrad in which they were actually calling Russian quasi-superhumans.  The contrast was absolutely amazing.

Nothing sobers up somebody drunk on ideology as a brutal confrontation with a reality which cannot be denied.

The same happened to the French, by the way.  The Russian word shval’ (шваль) roughly means scum/trash/worthless comes from the French word “cheval”, meaning horse.  Can you guess why?  Because the retreating French had to use their dead horses for food!  For details, I HIGHLY recommend this book “Les Cahiers du capitaine Coignet” – these are the diary notes of Jean-Roch Coignet, who participated in all the Napoleonic wars.  It is a fascinating read and an eye opener on how a French solider lived through all these years.

I can just imagine how the current mass insanity in the West will go down in history books.  Maybe as the dumbest and most incredible self-destruction in history?

Andrei

US Official F* Europe Nuland in Beirut, 6 Protesters Killed and 37 Injured

 ARABI SOURI 

Beirut - Saudi-sponsored Lebanese Forces Kill 6 protesters injure 37 others

As the US official, foreign policy and politicians maker, and the wife of neocon Robert Kagan, Victoria Nuland visits the Lebanese capital Beirut today, and during her visit, the US/ Saudi/ Israel sponsored so-called Lebanese Forces, a private militia, sniped peaceful protesters killing 5 of them and a lady in her house and injuring 37 others.

The lady who wherever she goes disasters ensue, met with the Lebanese top officials to show support for a single Lebanese judge who is handling the investigations in the explosion that destroyed the Beirut Port a couple of years ago.

The said judge is under heavy criticism for his handling the investigations by ignoring substantial material and evidence while focusing on a ‘negligence’ in the procedures that were carried out by the former Lebanese prime minister Hasan Diab and a couple of ministers who are known not to be in the US camp.

Visiting Nuland forgot that her ambassador to Lebanon gave her instructions to the former Lebanese government to remove a Lebanese judge from his job, in June of the last year, for giving an order to prevent the US ambassador from giving statements fueling strife in the country directly to local media bypassing the Lebanese foreign ministry and carrying out acts that stabilize his country, back then, the “independence and integrity” of the Lebanese judicial system was breached by a US official.

See the source image

Only in Lebanon a Lebanese Judge is Fired by the US Ambassador!

The blatant mishandling of the investigations in the Beirut Port explosion led groups of protesters, some of them are family members of the victims of the explosion, to take to the streets in protest of the appointed investigation judge’s mishandling of a case of a national level of importance.

The protest came after the lawyers representing those accused of negligence were carrying out a sitdown at the Justice Palace protesting the mishandling of the same case.

As the protesters were reaching the street before the Justice Palace, they were shot at by snipers positioned in the nearby tall buildings instantly killing a protester with a shot to his head and injuring a dozen others, followed by over 3 hours of direct shooting that killed 4 other protesters and injuring in total 37 others and one of the snipers saw a lady in her apartment and decided to snipe her for no reason, she’s a mother of 5 children.

Warning – Graphic Contents:

GRAPHIC CONTENTS

In total, 6 civilians were shot dead in their heads by professional snipers highly trained, loaded with massive quantities of light and medium weapons and munition, out of the 37 injured, at least 4 are in critical condition and between life and deaths. Calls for blood donation were sent by the hospitals in the area the victims were taken to.

All fingers point to the so-called Lebanese Force, a militia known for some of the most heinous massacres during the Lebanese civil war and its leader was convicted of ordering and contributing to some of the civil war era crimes one of which was the assassinating of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rashid Karami and a Lebanese brigadier accompanying him by a bomb placed under his helicopter seat, and for slaughtering the whole family of an opposing politician, in addition to blowing up a church! He was released from prison by the group who took over power in Lebanon post the 2004 assassination of Lebanese prime minister Hariri, the heinous crime which was also mishandled by the Lebanese judicial system in accomplice with special tribunal investigators formed for this crime, as per the admission of the court itself.

Sources close to the Lebanese army confirmed the arrest of 9 some of them are members of the Lebanese Forces militia who admitted to committing the massacre after setting the stage for it, others from the ‘shot at’ side. This investigation is continuing, the visit of Nuland to the Lebanese Army commander on the same day and the other Lebanese officials might hinder the investigations or stop it from reaching those giving the instructions to commit the massacre, as been the custom in Lebanon so far.

The mishandling of the former crime, the threats of the Lebanese Forces leader and his militia aides, and the US spending of billions of dollars to demonize the Lebanese Hezb Allah, by the admission of the US Congress, all led to the increased suspicions in the mishandling of the Beirut Port explosion especially when the appointed judge had leaked much of the investigation information to certain media outlets known to be on Saudi payroll, and only the part of negligence and not the essential parts on who brought the explosives, who stored it, who used it, and in whose favor the explosion was committed, if it was intentional.

The visit of Nuland is suspicious by its nature, the same US official infamous for her ‘F* Europe’ when she was leading Ukraine’s Maidan regime change that ousted a democratically elected president and replaced him with neo Nazis loyal to the USA.

US official Victoria Nuland protesting against the Ukrainian democratically elected president in Kiev

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The Destructive Plan Behind the Biden Russia Agenda

January 31, 2021

[Note by the Saker: as most of you know, I don’t do reposts (see here why).  This time, however, I decided to make a small exception to this rule and I emailed William and asked him for the permission to repost his excellent article on the hardcore russophobic elements inside Biden’s team.  William has very kindly allowed me to do so, so here it is below]

The Destructive Plan Behind the Biden Russia Agenda

by William Engdahl, reposted by special permission

source: http://www.williamengdahl.com/englishNEO29Jan2021.php

The new Biden Administration has from day one made it clear it will adopt a hostile and aggressive policy against the Russian Federation of Vladimir Putin. The policy behind this stance has nothing to do with any foul deeds Putin’s Russia may or may not have committed against the West. It has nothing to do with absurd allegations that Putin had pro-US dissident Alexei Navalny poisoned with the ultra-deadly Novichok nerve agent. In has to do with a far deeper agenda of the globalist Powers That Be. That agenda is what is being advanced now.

The Cabinet choices of Joe Biden reveal much. His key foreign policy picks–Tony Blinken as Secretary of State and Victoria Nuland as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs; Bill Burns as CIA head; Jake Sullivan as National Security Advisor ; Avril Haines as Director of National Intelligence—all are from the Obama-Biden Administration and all have worked closely together. As well, all see Russia, not China, as the prime security threat to the United States’ global hegemony.

As candidate, Joe Biden stated this often. His key foreign policy choices underscore that the focus with the Biden Administration, regardless how fit Biden himself is, will shift from the China threats to that of Putin’s Russia. Biden’s CIA head, Bill Burns, is a former Ambassador to Moscow and was Deputy Secretary of State during the Obama CIA coup d’etat in Ukraine in 2014. Notably, when Burns left State in November 2014 he was succeeded by Tony Blinken, now Secretary of State. Blinken reportedly formulated the US State Department response to Russia’s Crimea annexation.

Nuland is key

All Biden choices are uniformly clear in blaming Putin’s Russia for everything from US election interference in 2016 to the recent SolarWinds US government computer hack, to every other claim aired against Russia in recent years, whether proven or not.

In trying to determine what the new Biden Administration and the US intelligence agencies have in store towards Putin and Russia, however, the best indication is the prominent role being given to Victoria Nuland, the person, together with then-Vice President Joe Biden, who ran the political side of the US coup d’etat in Ukraine in 2013-14. She infamously was wire-tapped in a phone call to the US Ambassador in Kiev during the Maidan Square 2013-14 protests, telling the Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt, regarding EU choices for a new Ukraine regime, “F**k the EU.” Her husband, Robert Kagan is a notorious Washington neocon.

On leaving government on Trump’s election in 2016, Nuland became a Senior Counselor at the Albright Stonebridge Group, headed by former Clinton Secretary of State Madeline Albright who is also chairman of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) affiliate, National Democratic Institute. Nuland also joined the Board of the NED, after 2016, keeping in close contact with NED regime change operations. She is a Russia expert, fluent in Russian and a specialist in toppling regimes.

As Obama Assistant Secretary of State for Eurasian and European Affairs in 2013, Nuland worked closely with Vice President Joe Biden to put into power Arseniy Yatsenyuk in a US-friendly and Russia-hostile Ukraine coup. She fostered months of protest against the regime of the elected President of Ukraine, Victor Yanukovych, to force his ouster after his decision to join the Russian Eurasian Economic Union. Founder of the private intelligence group Stratfor, George Friedman, in an interview just after the February 2014 coup in Kiev, called it “the most blatant coup in (US) history.”

New Initiatives

In a major article in the August, 2020 Foreign Affairs, journal of the New York Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), Nuland outlines what most likely will be US strategy for undermining Russia in the coming months. She complains that, “resignation has set in about the state of US-Russian relations, and Americans have lost confidence in their own ability to change the game.” In other words, she is about “changing the game” with Putin. She charges that in the past 12 years, “Russia has violated arms control treaties; fielded new, destabilizing weapons; threatened Georgia’s sovereignty; seized Crimea and much of the Donbass; and propped up despots in Libya, Syria, and Venezuela. It has used cyber-weapons against foreign banks, electrical grids, and government systems; interfered in foreign democratic elections; and assassinated its enemies on European soil.”

She goes on to say the repeated US economic sanctions on select Russian banks and companies as well as Putin backers have done little to change Russian policy, claiming that, ”US and allied sanctions, although initially painful, have grown leaky or impotent with overuse and no longer impress the Kremlin.”

But Nuland suggests that Putin’s Russia today is vulnerable as never in the past 20 years: “the one thing that should worry the Russian president: the mood inside Russia. Despite Putin’s power moves abroad, 20 years of failing to invest in Russia’s modernization may be catching up with him. In 2019, Russia’s GDP growth was an anemic 1.3 percent. This year, the coronavirus pandemic and the free fall in oil prices could result in a significant economic contraction…Russia’s roads, rails, schools, and hospitals are crumbling. Its citizens have grown restive as promised infrastructure spending never appears, and their taxes and the retirement age are going up. Corruption remains rampant, and Russians’ purchasing power continues to shrink.”

In her CFR article Nuland advocates using, “Facebook, YouTube, and other digital platforms… there is no reason why Washington and its allies shouldn’t be more willing to give Putin a dose of his own medicine inside Russia, while maintaining the same deniability.” She adds that because Russians widely use the Internet and it is largely open, “Despite Putin’s best efforts, today’s Russia is more permeable. Young Russians are far more likely to consume information and news via the Internet than through state-sponsored TV or print media. Washington should try to reach more of them where they are: on the social networks  Odnoklassniki and VKontakte; on Facebook, Telegram, and YouTube; and on the many new Russian-language digital platforms springing up.”

Navalny

Around the time Nuland submitted her July-August Foreign Affairs article, perennial Putin opponent, Alexey Navalny was in Berlin, ostensibly recovering from what he claims was an attempt by Putin’s intelligence to kill him with highly toxic nerve agent, Novichok. Navalny, a US-educated opposition figure who was a Yale University Fellow in 2010 has been trying to gain a strong following for well over a decade, has been documented receiving money from Nuland’s National Endowment for Democracy, whose founder in the 1990s described it as doing, “what the CIA used to do, but privately.” In 2018 according to NPR in the US, Navalny had more than six million YouTube subscribers and more than two million Twitter followers. How many are bots paid by US intelligence is not known. Now, five months after exile in Berlin, Navalny makes a bold return where he knew he faced likely jail for past charges. It was obviously a clear calculation by his Western sponsors.

The US government’s NGO for Color Revolution regime change, the NED, in a piece published on January 25 echoes Nuland’s call for a social media-led destabilization of Putin. Writing about the Moscow arrest of Navalny just three days before the Biden inauguration, the NED states that, “By creating a model of guerrilla political warfare for the digital age, Navalny has exposed the regime’s utter lack of imagination and inability….” They add, “Putin is in a Catch-22: If Putin kills Navalny, it could draw more attention to the problem and exacerbate unrest. If Putin lets Navalny live, then Navalny remains a focus for resistance, whether he is in prison or not… Navalny has very much outmaneuvered Putin at each turn since the poisoning. It’s becoming a bit humiliating for him.”

Since his alleged botched poisoning in August in Russian Far East, Navalny was allowed by the Russian government to fly to Berlin for treatment, a strange act if indeed Putin and Russian intelligence had really wanted him dead. What clearly took place in the intervening five months in exile suggests that Navalny’s return was professionally prepared by unnamed Western intelligence regime change specialists. The Kremlin has claimed intelligence that shows Navalny was directly being tutored while in exile by CIA specialists.

On Navalny’s Moscow arrest January 17, his anti-corruption NGO released a sophisticated YouTube documentary on Navalny’s channel, purporting to show a vast palace alleged to belong to Putin on the Black Sea, filmed with use of a drone, no small feat. In the video Navalny calls on Russians to march against the alleged billion dollar “Putin Palace” to protest corruption.

Navalny, who clearly is being backed by sophisticated US information warfare specialists and groups such as the NED, is likely being told to build a movement to challenge United Russia party candidates in the September Duma elections where Putin isn’t a candidate. He has even been given a new tactic, which he calls a “smart voting” strategy, a hallmark NED tactic.

Stephen Sestanovich, New York Council on Foreign Relations Russia expert and former board member of the NED, suggested the likely game plan of the new Biden team. On January 25 Sestanovich wrote in the CFR blog, “The Putin regime remains strong, but nationwide protests in support of Alexei Navalny are the most serious challenge to it in years. Opposition leader Alexei Navalny is showing a political creativity and tactical skill that Putin has not previously faced. If the protests continue, they could reveal vulnerabilities in his decades-long hold on power.” This was two days after Russia-wide protests demanding Navalny’s release from jail. “With his bold decision to return to Moscow and the release of a widely viewed video purporting to expose regime corruption, Navalny has shown himself to be a capable and imaginative political figure—even from jail, perhaps the most formidable adversary Putin has faced,” he wrote. “The strategic sophistication of Navalny’s team is underscored both by its video release and, before that, by its exposé of the Federal Security Services (FSB) personnel who poisoned him last summer.”

The clear decision of the Biden team to name a former Moscow ambassador to head the CIA and Victoria Nuland to No. 3 position at the State Department, along with his other intelligence choices indicate that destabilizing Russia will be a prime focus of Washington going forward. As the NED gleefully put it, “Navalny’s arrest, three days before Biden’s inauguration former US ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul says, has all the makings of “Biden’s first foreign policy crisis. Whatever was in their transition documents, this is now front and center for them.”

The reason however is not because of domestic corruption by Putin’s inner circle, true or not. Biden could care less. Rather it is the very existence of Russia under Putin as an independent sovereign nation that tries to defend that national identity, whether in military defense or in defense of a traditionally conservative Russian culture. Ever since the US-backed NED destabilization of the Soviet Union in 1990 during the Bush Administration, it has been NATO policy and that of the influential financial interests behind NATO to break Russia into many parts, dismantle the state and loot what is left of its huge raw materials resources. The globalist Great Reset has no room for independent nation states like Russia is the message that the new Biden team will clearly convey now.
——-
F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”

Victoria Nuland Alert

The foreign interventionists really hate Russia

PHILIP GIRALDI • JUNE 23, 2020 

It is difficult to find anything good to say about Donald Trump, but the reality is that he has not started any new wars, though he has come dangerously close in the cases of Venezuela and Iran and there would be considerable incentive in the next four months to begin something to bolster his “strong president” credentials and to serve as a distraction from coronavirus and black lives matter.

Be that as it may, Trump will have to run hard to catch up to the record set by his three predecessors Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Bush was an out-and-out neoconservative, or at least someone who was easily led, including in his administration Donald Rumsfeld, Richard Perle, Michael Ledeen, Reuel Gerecht, Paul Wolfowitz, Doug Feith, Eliot Abrams, Dan Senor and Scooter Libby. He also had the misfortune of having to endure Vice President Dick Cheney, who thought he was actually the man in charge. All were hawks who believed that the United States had the right to do whatever it considered necessary to enhance its own security, to include invading other countries, which led to Afghanistan and Iraq, where the U.S. still has forces stationed nearly twenty years later.

Clinton and Obama were so-called liberal interventionists who sought to export something called democracy to other countries in an attempt to make them more like Peoria. Clinton bombed Afghanistan and Sudan as a diversion when the press somehow caught wind of his arrangement with Monica Lewinsky and Obama, aided by Mrs. Clinton, chose to destroy Libya. Obama was also the first president to set up a regular Tuesday morning session to review a list of American citizens who would benefit from being killed by drone.

So the difference between neocons and liberal interventionists is one of style rather than substance. And, by either yardstick all-in-all, Trump looks pretty good, but there has nevertheless been a resurgence of neocon-think in his administration. The America the exceptional mindset is best exemplified currently by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who personifies the belief that the United States is empowered by God to play only by its own rules when dealing with other nations. That would include following the advice that has been attributed to leading neocon Michael Ledeen, “Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business.

One of the first families within the neocon/liberal interventionist firmament is the Kagans, Robert and Frederick. Frederick is a Senior Fellow at the neocon American Enterprise Institute and his wife Kimberly heads the bizarrely named Institute for the Study of War. Victoria Nuland, wife of Robert, is currently the Senior Counselor at the Albright Stonebridge Group and a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. That means that Victoria aligns primarily as a liberal interventionist, as does her husband, who is also at Brookings. She is regarded as a protégé of Hillary Clinton and currently works with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who once declared that killing 500,000 Iraqi children using sanctions was “worth it.” Nuland also has significant neocon connections through her having been a member of the staff assembled by Dick Cheney.

Nuland, many will recall, was the driving force behind efforts to destabilize the Ukrainian government of President Viktor Yanukovych in 2013-2014. Yanukovych, an admittedly corrupt autocrat, nevertheless became Prime Minister after a free election. Nuland, who was the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs at the State Department, provided open support to the Maidan Square demonstrators opposed to Yanukovych’s government, to include media friendly appearances passing out cookies on the square to encourage the protesters.

Nuland openly sought regime change for Ukraine by brazenly supporting government opponents in spite of the fact that Washington and Kiev had ostensibly friendly relations. It is hard to imagine that any U.S. administration would tolerate a similar attempt by a foreign nation to interfere in U.S. domestic politics, particularly if it were backed by a $5 billion budget, but Washington has long believed in a global double standard for evaluating its own behavior.

Nuland is most famous for her foul language when referring to the potential European role in managing the unrest that she and the National Endowment for Democracy had helped create in Ukraine. For Nuland, the replacement of the government in Kiev was only the prelude to a sharp break and escalating conflict with the real enemy, Moscow, over Russia’s attempts to protect its own interests in Ukraine, most particularly in Crimea.

And make no mistake about Nuland’s broader intention at that time to expand the conflict and directly confront Russia. In Senate testimony she cited how the administration was “providing support to other frontline states like Moldova and Georgia.” Her use of the word “frontline” is suggestive.

Victoria Nuland was playing with fire. Russia, as the only nation with the military capability to destroy the U.S., was and is not a sideshow like Saddam Hussein’s Iraq or the Taliban’s Afghanistan. Backing Moscow into a corner with no way out by using threats and sanctions is not good policy. Washington has many excellent reasons to maintain a stable relationship with Moscow, including counter-terrorism efforts, and little to gain from moving in the opposite direction. Russia is not about to reconstitute the Warsaw Pact and there is no compelling reason to return to a Cold War footing by either arming Ukraine or permitting it to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Victoria Nuland has just written a long article for July/August issue of Foreign Affairsmagazine on the proper way for the United States manage what she sees as the Russian “threat.” It is entitled “How a Confident America Should Deal With Russia.” Foreign Affairs, it should be observed, is an establishment house organ produced by the Council on Foreign Relations which provides a comfortable perch for both neocons and liberal interventionists.

Nuland’s view is that the United States lost confidence in its own “ability to change the game” against Vladimir Putin, who has been able to play “a weak hand well because the United States and its allies have let him, allowing Russia to violate arms control treaties, international law, the sovereignty of its neighbors, and the integrity of elections in the United States and Europe… Washington and its allies have forgotten the statecraft that won the Cold War and continued to yield results for many years after. That strategy required consistent U.S. leadership at the presidential level, unity with democratic allies and partners, and a shared resolve to deter and roll back dangerous behavior by the Kremlin. It also included incentives for Moscow to cooperate and, at times, direct appeals to the Russian people about the benefits of a better relationship. Yet that approach has fallen into disuse, even as Russia’s threat to the liberal world has grown.”

What Nuland writes would make perfect sense if one were to share her perception of Russia as a rogue state threatening the “liberal world.” She sees Russian rearmament under Putin as a threat even though it was dwarfed by the spending of NATO and the U.S. She shares her fear that Putin might seek “…reestablishing a Russian sphere of influence in eastern Europe and from vetoing the security arrangements of his neighbors. Here, a chasm soon opened between liberal democracies and the still very Soviet man leading Russia, especially on the subject of NATO enlargement. No matter how hard Washington and its allies tried to persuade Moscow that NATO was a purely defensive alliance that posed no threat to Russia, it continued to serve Putin’s agenda to see Europe in zero-sum terms.”

Nuland’s view of NATO enlargement is so wide of the mark that it borders on being a fantasy. Of course, Russia would consider a military alliance on its doorstep to be a threat, particularly as a U.S. Administration had provided assurances that expansion would not take place. She goes on to suggest utter nonsense, that Putin’s great fear over the NATO expansion derives from his having “…always understood that a belt of increasingly democratic, prosperous states around Russia would pose a direct challenge to his leadership model and risk re-infecting his own people with democratic aspirations.”

Nuland goes on and on in a similar vein, but her central theme is that Russia must be confronted to deter Vladimir Putin, a man that she clearly hates and depicts as if he were a comic book version of evil. Some of her analysis is ridiculous, as “Russian troops regularly test the few U.S. forces left in Syria to try to gain access to the country’s oil fields and smuggling routes. If these U.S. troops left, nothing would prevent Moscow and Tehran from financing their operations with Syrian oil or smuggled drugs and weapons.”

Like most zealots, Nuland is notably lacking in any sense of self-criticism. She conspired to overthrow a legitimately elected democratic government in Ukraine because it was considered too friendly to Russia. She accuses the Kremlin of having “seized” Crimea, but fails to see the heavy footprint of the U.S. military in Afghanistan and Iraq and as a regional enabler of Israeli and Saudi war crimes. One wonders if she is aware that Russia, which she sees as expansionistic, has only one overseas military base while the United States has more than a thousand.

Nuland clearly chooses not to notice the White House’s threats against countries that do not toe the American line, most recently Iran and Venezuela, but increasingly also China on top of perennial enemy Russia. None of those nations threaten the United States and all the kinetic activity and warnings are forthcoming from a gentleman named Mike Pompeo, speaking from Washington, not from “undemocratic” leaders in the Kremlin, Tehran, Caracas or Beijing.

Victoria Nuland recommends that “The challenge for the United States in 2021 will be to lead the democracies of the world in crafting a more effective approach to Russia—one that builds on their strengths and puts stress on Putin where he is vulnerable, including among his own citizens.” Interestingly, that might be regarded as seeking to interfere in the workings of a foreign government, reminiscent of the phony case made against Russia in 2016. And it is precisely what Nuland did in fact do in Ukraine.

Nuland has a lot more to say in her article and those who are interested in the current state of interventionism in Washington should not ignore her. Confronting Russia as some kind of ideological enemy is a never-ending process that leaves both sides poorer and less free. It is appropriate for Moscow to have an interest in what goes on right on top of its border while the United States five thousand miles away and possessing both a vastly larger economy and armed forces can, one would think, relax a bit and unload the burden of being the world’s self-appointed policeman.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is https://councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org.

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